From left: Getafe player Manu Del Morel, Kaiser Rafik, Sulaiman Al Boti and Dr Angel Torres Sanchez at Burj Al Arab hotel helipad last week.Getafe president confirmed the purchase of the La Liga club on Monday. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: Getafe's new owners have set themselves a target of top three finish for the Spanish La Liga side for next season.

"It will be a new beginning for us all. As the owners now, we have been putting a fresh plan in place for the club and one of the goals will be at least a top three finish in the league standings next season," Kaiser Rafik of Royal Emirates Group (REG) told Gulf News yesterday.

This follows the Getafe president Angel Torres' confirmation that the Dubai-based business group took control of the Spanish club on Monday, three days after he denied that it had been sold. In a press conference in Madrid, Torres said the Royal Emirates Group of Companies plans to invest up to $130 million (Dh477.503 million) and lift the team's budget by 40 per cent from its current $66 million to help it finish regularly in the top six and qualify for Europe.

Different approach

"Since we want to be different and we don't want to go into debt, we went looking for investment," Torres said from the club's stadium, Coliseum Alfonso Perez. "So Royal Emirates is the new team owner as of today since they bought out 99.3 per cent."

The group announced the acquisition of Getafe last Thursday with Torres present at the news conference in Dubai. However, the club president told reporters upon his return to Spain a day later that it hadn't been sold.

"You find yourself there during Easter holidays with all those cameras and people showing no respect, I didn't see why I had to confirm anything," said Torres, adding that he also wanted to wait until after Monday's stockholders meeting before commenting.

Logo change

Torres denied that the team logo would change, but a partner and managing director of the consortium later said a new emblem — featuring the word "Getafe" above "Team Dubai" — would be sent to the Spanish league for approval.

Founded in 1945, Getafe, according to Rafik, has already started attracting investment potential from at least three Middle East companies.

"These companies want to invest in our club. So we have been busy getting a new plan ready to take the club to the next level.

New players

"Buying new players will definitely be one of the main areas, but we will be handling the purchase of top-class players from Dubai itself."

Other novelties that will be bestowed on Getafe — now to be called Getafe Team Dubai FC — is the inclusion of at least two UAE players in the main squad along with an additional 20 million euros in the annual budget spend starting next season [up from 45 million euros to 65 million euros].